Human Resources is probably one of the most contract intensive parts of an organization. HR contracts cover so many areas of working life, from employment and consultancy to documents like policy agreements. This intensity of contract use is becoming even more of a burden on the HR department as the way we work changes. In a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, they found that the workforce is now made up of over 40% ‘contingent’ workers. A contingent workforce is much more likely to sign multiple, ongoing contracts, and service agreements, which just increases the contract load on HR departments. To cope with this HR departments are turning to the use of online contracts and e-signatures.
Benefits of Using Online Contracts and E-Signatures
So, what are the reasons for using an online contract systems in HR? I’ve shown below, what I think are the 5 best benefits. Most of them stem from the fact that you are taking a user intensive process, i.e., a contract lifecycle, and automating it:
Benefit #1: Making it easy for everyone
Online contract portals make it easy to go through the entire lifecycle of a contract, from creation to negotiation to sign off. All of the parties involved can access the contract from a central online repository. The platform should let you know when a contract is ready to check and sign too. The whole point of e-contract platforms is to streamline the contract process and make it easy for all involved.
Benefit #2: Fast on-boarding of talent
If you use an online contract platform that also provides e-signatures, you can speed up the contract process, taking it from days to hours to complete. Potential recruits can access the contract from their device (some platforms, like ApproveMe, even allow access from a mobile device), read the contract, made amends (if allowed) and signatures can then also be collected online.
Benefit #3: Keeping tabs on your contract process
Online contracts can be audited. This means that you get to see who has accessed the contract, when they accessed it, and if they made any changes. You also get notified when a contract is signed and if after it has been signed a change is made, you get notified about that too – secure e-signature platforms will even make sure the signature becomes invalidated if a change is made after contract agreement.
Benefit #4: It’s all legal
A good e-signature platform like ApproveMe is built to comply with electronic signature laws, like ESIGN. Contracts signed using such platforms are legally binding. So if you end up in a dispute over a contract you know that a court will uphold the clauses.
Benefit #5: Using online contracts saves money
We all have to keep watch on our bottom line. Using online contracts saves you money directly, in terms of the cost of printing, postage, and packaging. But it also saves you costs by keeping contracts in one, accessible but secure, place. No more lost contracts, no more spending hours searching through filing systems to find that one contract you were sure was in that folder.
How to Use ApproveMe to Simplify HR Contract Processes
ApproveMe is one such online contract and e-signature platform. It has been designed from conversations with real business people, with real problems. We designed it to give you a seamless, fast, secure, and importantly, easy online contract management platform. The software platform itself is a simple WordPress plugin, that works directly from your own website, so keeping your own brand at the forefront of anyone you work with. Using ApproveMe in an HR department to manage and control your contracts would work a little like this:
- You create your contract templates for your HR department. The templates are reusable and configurable as needed
- You can also add custom fields, like signature blocks, radio buttons, check boxes, and anything you need to get a contract or agreement ready
- Registration to take part in the contract lifecycle is simple, users have an account auto-created for them when they sign, so it’s really simple
Review, Sign, and Notify:
- Once the contract is ready, you click to add a signatory and this sends out an email alert to that person to let them know the contract is ready to sign
- Repetitive signatures, such as your own, can be auto-added to save you, even more, time
- Documents can be signed in order by different signatories
- If anyone forgets to sign, an automatic reminder is sent out to that person.
- Once the contract is completed and signed anyone involved will be notified that it is complete
You can also set an ‘approval signature’ which once added, completes the lifecycle and archives the document
All contracts (an unlimited number) are held centrally and so easy to access
ApproveMe also lets you set up roles, so for example, you can create an HR Director or HR Officer role and assign certain documents to those users. Anyone using the ApproveMe platform does not need to install any software on their device, they just click and sign on the screen. Everything else is automated, including alerts and audit trails.
And on a final note, in an age where protection of personal information is crucial and an expected part of a number of regulations, ApproveMe offer two-factor authentication to protect documents and any personal details on there.